Monthly Archives: August 2009

Todos Somos Zombies

Remember when swine flu happened and we all thought DF was going to be taken over by zombies? I got a glimpse into the Apocalypse that never was this Saturday when I went to check out “Yo si Bailo Thriller” at the Monumento de la Revolución on Saturday. El Universal reports that more than 50,000 people showed up for the event and of those, 11,628 were registered dancers who helped to break the Guiness World Record for most people dancing to Thriller in one place.

When I first read all the hype around the “Yo si Bailo Thriller” event, I thought it was kind of random that the organizers would choose that song to bring together the masses. I’ve always been more of a fan of Billy Jean or Smooth Criminal. But looking out at the rain-soaked women in bloodied wedding dresses, grown men with their heads wrapped in surgical tape and little kids dressed as the dead pop star, it suddenly all made sense. It was so… Mexico. In a place where car accidents, decapitations, and point blank shootings are fodder for the front page of metro tabloids, anything with a tinge of the macabre is a guaranteed hit for the masses. Celebrating the life of a long-cold pop star by recreating a video where said pop star turns into a date-ruining zombie in a graveyard? Sure, why not? Bring the kids too.

The swelling crowd began to grow anxious around 4 pm so the organizers attempted to fend off a zombie attack by playing “Heal the World.” The be-wigged revelers were really into it, but most of them only knew a few choice words and attempted to improv the rest. Then it was time to weirdly wish Ghost Michael a happy 51st birthday.

It was eerie enough hearing the pulsing crowd sing “Las Mañanitas,” the traditional Mexican birthday anthem, but some of the lines were downright creepy, like this one: “Despierta, Michael, Despierta” or, “Wake up, Michael, wake up.”

Then, it was finally time to practice for the main event. An organizer/ voice of God gave the dancers some last minute tips. “Ok, todos somos Zombies,” he said, “Todos somos ZOMBIES!” We’re all zombies here. The practice run went along well, as many of the dancers had been practicing around the city for weeks. But the sense of anticipation was palpable.

What or who was everyone waiting for?

The answer came around 5:30 pm in a glittering white jacket and a taped-up nose – Hector Jackson. The famed Mexican MJ impersonator choreographed the event and showed up just in time to lead the masses in breaking the record.

I had a great vantage point and even fought off a Televisa reporter to get some great footage of HJ’s performance. Unfortunately, something entirely apropos happened to the video. Instead of uploading with the rest of the 87 files I captured, my perfect Thriller video is lurking somewhere in the limbo of my camera’s internal memory. It’s like it’s too awesome to live, but refuses to die.

Instead of Hector Jackson, I leave you with a video that almost sums up the event. Skeletor really wants to heal the world.

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MJ Thriller Pics

Check out homeboy in purple shirt practicing in the background.

Check out homeboy in purple shirt practicing in the background.

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Gringolandia Pics from Estadio Azteca

A United Statesian fights back.

A United Statesian fights back.

Bring it!

Bring it!

It's already been BROUGHTEN!

It's already been BROUGHTEN!

Team USA showing great defensive action.

Team USA showing great defensive action.

The DF police were not messing around.

The DF police were not messing around.

On the ride to the game our taxi driver said, "this may be a crazy country, but we always make sure to take care of our visitors." Well said, Eugenio!

On the ride to the game our taxi driver said, "This may be a crazy country, but we always make sure to take care of our visitors." Well said, Eugenio!

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Lluvia de Cerveza

*Mexican fans make their feelings known with a beer bombardment

“Don’t wear USA gear.”

Those were the last words in an email from the person who was hooking up some friends and me with tickets to the USA-Mexico match at Estadio Azteca. That sentence, along with another phrase I kept hearing, “flying urine,” prompted me to dress in a neutral grey and black get-up to yesterday’s game. Being a Chilangabacha, I was already conflicted on who to root for, so dressing Switzerland seemed logical.

(On a related note: I love you my fellow Mexico-based Gabachos, but I wanted to wring some of your necks outside Estadio Azteca. The next time an event like this takes place and you’re worried for your safety just wear something boring – you know like a black and pink trenchcoat or a yellow unitard – or get creative like my pal Mija who along with her husband wore red, white and blue Chivas jerseys. Just don’t go around wearing a giant sombrero and a Pancho Villa moustache and assume that your khaki shorts,  Tevas and loud shouting in English won’t give you away as a big ole Landon Donovan-loving  gringo. )

When my friends and I finally reached the nosebleed of all nosebleeds section, I charged ahead to go to the bathroom. When I emerged, an angry policewoman greeted me:

“And just where do you think you’re going?”

Uh, I pointed to my friends who were holding our tickets. She had been deceived by my Chilangabacha brown undertones. I hadn’t realized that the entire section was cordoned off by DF cops in full riot gear.  Our USA soccer hookup had gotten us tickets in the Gringolandia section.

We continued on to find an entire section of peeps dressed in Old Glory from head to toe. Turns out they were hard-core members of Sam’s Army, a group of ballz-out USA soccer fans who have been banding together to dodge beer cups since 1995.

When I noticed the entire section was surrounded by a barbed wire fence and the aforementioned riot police, I knew we were in for some fun.  Sure enough, the first US goal brought our entire section to our feet, making us targets for a shower of beer cups and whatever else the fans of El Tri could get their hands on. Luckily, we were sitting toward the middle of the pack so none of the Corona bombs were able to reach us.

I was surprised when the first score for Mexico brought even more taunting. There was really only one point when I felt a slight fear for my life. When a US player was injured and wheeled out of the stadium, it seemed like the entire crowd turned toward our little 100-people section in order let us know about the unscrupulous habits of our mothers.

None of this craziness put a damper on Sam’s Army. They kept up with their folk song-themed chants throughout the match and screamed back at the Mexican fans to “Bring it on!” even though their odds in such a potential situation were about 10,000 to 1.

After Mexico’s impressive 2-1 win, the national security team continued to hold the rabid fans at bay by forming a human barricade around the United Statesians. We declined to enter  and instead chose to walk out of the stadium with our boring black and grey outfits for security, watching from afar as Sam’s Army held up cameras and iPhones to film the madness from within the fortress of riot gear.

We continued along in the rush hour subway-style crush, thankful we made it through the whole experience without getting beered on.

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Mexico in 24 Seconds

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Chilangabacha Goes to Wachington (and LA and NYC)

Have you been feeling like something/one wonderful, witty and a little bit wiggity wack has been missing from your life these past couple of weeks? That’s prolly ’cause La Chilangabacha was out on vacation. I decided the gabacha part of my being needed a reboot, so I went on a United Statesian adventure (if you want a cheap fair, amigos, look for flights on Tuesdays or Wednesdays).

Wouldn’t you know it – my beloved Mexico followed me from sea to shining sea. From the Oaxacans buying gel at Target in North Hollywood (why-oh-why did you have to import tubs of gel, Target?) to my homeboy from Neza who gave me directions to the PATH train in NYC,  I didn’t have a chance to get homesick.

Check out my USAMEX pics. There are a couple in the bunch I took in Mexico. Try to guess which ones. If you guess right, you get a prize.

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